Single Awareness Day: Life In The Ellipses

I’m good for texting with an ellipses.  You know, that dot dot dot at the end of a statement that leaves the reader and/or the writer to fill in the blank.  Truth be told, my whole romantic life has been stuck in an ellipses.  It was only last year that I heard that the nickname for Valentines Day is Single Awareness Day… (lol) I think it’s PERFECT! There isn’t a more perfect name for the annual day where long awaited single people, like myself, who want to be married are made painfully aware that we are not in a relationship. 

When I was a teenager I blissfully lived on the bottom half of our home alone. On Valentines Day (which I affectionately call V’Day because it’s close to what sounds like Dooms Day and keeps me from writing the whole word) I’d ascend the stairs to find the sweetest gifts atop the steps: candy, fresh flowers, a red bear; all accompanied with a sweet note, encouraging me about my future. Love my Mom for that! It made the day bearable until those very gifts made it once again painfully obvious that I didn’t have romantic love in my life because my well-meaning MOTHER was my Valentine… When I was a child it helped to give me permission to redefine this national holiday to mean what I decided it to be. Until the tiring effort it took to do so is now what sparks the acknowledgement once again that I am not in a relationship.

Or, last year when I was minding my business on V’Day.  It was going ok till the ding ding ding of my phone forced me to check our “family groupme” to find a conversation between my Mom and my sister-in-law (whom I never add the “in-law” but I will for the sake of this rant) It went something like this:

Toya: Happy Love Day family (kiss emoji, red heart, love eyes emoji)

Mom: SAME TO YOU GLAD WE DON’T PICK JUST ONE DAY TO SHOW LOVE !! (why is my mother ALWAYS yelling by txt? Ugh!)

Toya: @Mom My thoughts exactly!

This innocent, well-meaning text reel turned a not so bad day into inspiration to be sad and pissed. Again, this was last year.  (allow me a quick rant a lil more) I mean, they don’t get it!  BOTH of them will get romantic attention tomorrow night. I must admit, I’m a bit sad, but not without hope, therefore I’m not bitter about being lonely on Valentine’s Day.  However, I do feel like their comments cheapen what they do get. And for someone who wants romantic attention on Valentine’s Day it makes me feel like I’m supposed to be grateful for the “family love” text on V’Day – no doubt.  No!  It would be better to acknowledge that you have someone to give you that type of love and not cheapen it under the guise of our “family love” that we share every day. That’s not the point of this national holiday AT ALL!  The point is to celebrate the romantic love that you do have. Sucks for me… And I feel like, if I say something I’ll just get judged as bitter. Or, you get the religious statements like, “what’s meant for you will be for you.”  Or, I’ll get some excuse about not meaning it “that way.” And I’m sure they didn’t. Also, NOT the point…

So, what do I do?  I’m a wonderful, beautiful, single Christian woman who isn’t in a relationship and I want to be. And, why is it that the desire to be married feels like it’s supposed to be this big secret?  Like it’s supposed to sneak up on you and that’s the best way for it to happen. I wish it would have, but it didn’t! And if I voice the desire it’s met with a side-eye of silent judgmental stamp of sinful desperation that causes single unready or unwilling men to cringe. Or older women who have given up on being married to try and convince me that since it wasn’t in the cards for them, that we share the same proverbial lot.  No thanks! So, every year on this favored heart-filled national holiday, my hope is met with the reality that my prayer hasn’t been answered. What do we do? Bitterness is certainly not the answer.  It displeases the Lord and it’s a waste of heart energy and time. There’s so much more to do with my life!

First, in iambutNaked fashion, I’ll just say it...I WANT TO BE MARRIED! And tomorrow is V’Day. I’m determined not to be sad. What’s my plan? Sometimes a good plan means includes figuring out what the real problem is and attacking with good strategy and execution. People of war approach their challenges that way, why not do the same regarding the warfare that happens in emotions. (the we wrestle not scripture) Don’t you think for one second that this issue doesn’t conjure up warfare. With the redefinition of family and gender, the millions of people dying of HIV/AIDS, and the constant rise of divorce; it’s no wonder that the holy desire of being married conjures up demons ready to pounce on your dreams like a lion in a pit. (Thanks Mark Batterson)

For me, it’s been 10 years since I’ve been in a viable relationship. I have consistently asked the Lord for the reality of this promise every year since then.  To be fair, if I’m grading my own paper, I was not ready to have a relationship until about five years ago. Now that I believe that I’m ready, what am I going to do for V’Day?

First.  I WILL NOT BE depressed!  That’s right. I can decide that! And you can too! It’s true. I’m not in a relationship.  However, I have hope – MAD HOPE!  Hope is that frail idea that shatters jealousy and depression.  I’m not going to be like John the Baptist waiting to die in jail. Matthew 11:2 starts a story about John the Baptist in prison. He was probably the only one at that time that recognized that his own cousin was the Christ.  In fact, his purpose was to prepare the way for Jesus’ ministry.  To top it all off, John finds himself in jail because he was fulfilling his life’s call. So, he sent word questioning if Jesus was who he knew him to be – the Christ.  Jesus told the messenger to report back to John all the miracles that were happening.  Then Jesus says in verse 6, “And blessed is he who does not take offense at me.” Chomps John off! John musta forgot who the king was… And while his life was left hanging out in the prison of the ellipses, he got beside himself…like his plight was the reason to question Jesus’ power and relevance. Tuh! (lol)

What does this have to do with us single people without romantic love for V’Day? Don’t be mad because the Lord’s answer is no. Did you forget that longsuffering is a Godly quality? (Eph 4:2) Or is your relationship with God based on what Jesus does for you? Do you really trust him with your life, even in the prison of an ellipses? Longsuffering, also known as patience, is allowing the other person to go at their pace and not push your own. (Thanks Andy Stanley) Be patient with God…

Still haven’t answered what do we do though huh?

Here’s what I say.  We answer these 2 questions…

1.   Are you the one, the one you want wants? (Thanks again Andy Stanley)

2.   Do you really trust the Lord with your whole life?

 

Answer those questions and I’m sure you’ll still be frustrated on V’Day.  However, I’ll bet you’ll be closer to your dream relationship.

 

Remember, it’s only one day…

 

I’m Tifiny and iambutNaked… (and alone on V’Day)

Tifiny Johnson